The Fiji Health Ministry has reported two dozen typhoid cases in Bua since the New Year, prompting them to advise the public about proper hygiene and sanitation.

Salmonella serotype Typhi
Typhoid image/CDC

The Fiji Times reported the typhoid cluster is understood to have started abruptly after a New Year’s function at a village in the province.

Typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. Salmonella typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteriain their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry thebacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S.typhi in their feces.

You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.

Typhoid fever can be successfully treated with appropriate antibiotics, and persons given antibioticsusually begin to feel better within 2 to 3 days.

Learn more about typhoid fever in this educational video

In addition to typhoid, there are also reports of 17 lab-confirmed cases of dengue fever in Macuata. Health authorities have declared an outbreak.

Minister of Health and Medical Services, Jone Usamate said the control of dengue in the North would require all residents in Macuata to undertake an organised or individually motivated clean-up campaign.

“The destruction of mosquito breeding grounds is important and sustainable intervention needs to happen soonest,” he noted.

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